Ministers are considering whether homeopathy should be put on a blacklist of treatments GPs in England are banned from prescribing, the BBC has learned.
The controversial practice is based on the principle that "like cures like", but critics say patients are being given useless sugar pills. The Faculty of Homeopathy said patients supported the therapy.
A consultation is expected to take place in 2016. The total NHS bill for homeopathy, including homeopathic hospitals and GP prescriptions, is thought to be about £4m.
Homeopathy is based on the concept that diluting a version of a substance that causes illness has healing properties. So pollen or grass could be used to create a homeopathic hay-fever remedy. One part of the substance is mixed with 99 parts of water or alcohol, and this is repeated six times in a "6c" formulation or 30 times in a "30c" formulation.